The Dallas Stars will look to stop the bleeding when they play host to Central Division rival Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
The defending Western Conference champs have had their 2020-21 campaign thrown off-kilter while battling COVID-19 more than any other team.
With 18 games, the Stars have played the fewest games heading into the weekend. To make matters worse, Dallas is struggling to find any sort of consistency.
As far as Columbus is concerned, the Blue Jackets are also looking to pick up the level of their play after a wildly inconsistent start.
With both clubs going all out for the win, let’s find out if the Stars can stop the bleeding as the sportsbook betting pick at home.
Despite their struggles this season, Dallas will be the home favorite when the NHL odds for this Saturday night clash goes live.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars
When: Saturday, at 8 p.m. ET
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
TV: FS-SW, FS-O
Blue Jackets Looking For First Three-Game Winning Streak
Columbus is looking to win three straight. The Blue Jackets took out Detroit 4-1 on Tuesday and beat Dallas 3-2 on Thursday night. Boone Jenner had a goal and an assist. Oliver Bjorkstrand and Eric Robinson added third-period goals and Joonas Korpisalo turned back 22 shots.
“We’ve just got to keep taking a step forward and find some consistency,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “I’m not going to jump up and down and do cartwheels here. We’re slowly trying to get better. You put a couple of games together, you win a couple of games.”
Columbus has struggled to light the lamp, ranking an uninspiring 22nd (2.7 gpg). The Blue Jackets haven’t been much better at the other end of the ice in allowing 3.1 goals per game (25th).
Stars In Desperation Mode
The Stars have dropped four straight and five of six. Dallas has been limited to two goals in two of their most recent losses while getting shut out in the other two losses. Dallas is 1-7-3 in its last 11 games after getting off to a 4-0 start this season.
Miro Heiskanen and Jason Robertson scored third-period goals after Dallas had been shutout in its two previous games.
“We’re going to try to build off that third period,” Dallas coach Rick Bowness said. “I know they got two (goals), but we’ll build off the third period.”
Dallas is ranked 27th in scoring (2.7 gpg) and ninth in goals allowed (2.7 gpg).
Expert Analysis and Prediction
I know Dallas has been playing some horrific hockey over the last few weeks, but I like the Stars to get it done on Saturday night.
Columbus is 16-5 in the last 21 meetings and 4-0 in its last four road dates against Dallas. The bad news is that the Blue Jackets are also 2-7 over their last seven games and 3-10 in their last 13 games following a win.
I can’t point to any specific trends that will make Dallas look like a more attractive pick in this contest, but I like the Stars out of sheer desperation, if nothing else.
Pick: Dallas 3, Columbus 2
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